FIOREVER PENDANT EARRINGS IN WHITE GOLD WITH ROUND BRILLIANT-CUT DIAMONDS & PAVÉ DIAMONDS, SHOP NOW, HIGH JEWELLERY NECKLACE IN WHITE GOLD WITH MOTHER-OF-PEARL ELEMENTS, SOUTH SEA CULTURED WHITE PEARLS, ROUND DIAMONDS & PAVÉ-SET DIAMONDS, SHOP SIMILAR, BVLGARI
Is there a single moment we come to realise our own, unique taste? We’re born grazing from the small and plain but learn early on to crave palate pleasers. Simple satisfactions, ubiquitously shared. We sneak the sweetest biscuits, beg for sprinkles and polish our plates when salt is generous. But as time passes, the strain of subtle replenishment leaves us lacking. Our papillae propagates. We begin to hunt for the next nutrient that will ignite our most persuasive receptors. We desire to taste. To experience the depths that come from our most palpable human sense. Propelled by the physical need to placate hunger, finding flavour becomes a lifelong quest. One that can act as an art form and be so much more than a means to survive. It’s little wonder then that this enigmatic sense offers a lateral bend. Taste can be both literal and existential. That our most inspired influences, tangible treasures and favoured culture rouse a sociological angle – and both sit at the core of our disposition.
But the acquisition of appreciation is deeply personal. Bygone theories of “good taste” (now known to be steeped in a prejudicial class system) have made way for a more valuable realisation – that accepting a multitude of tuned attentions is vastly more worthwhile than funnelling everyone’s preferences into the same cup. After all, it’s virtually impossible to explain why the steak frites from Le Relais de l’Entrecôte in Paris remains the single gastronomical romance you long for. Or why purveying a collection of Joan Miró originals in their Fundació home in Barcelona had you overcome with emotion. Or how a single piece of perfected jewellery – a Bulgari B.zero1 Rock bracelet in yellow gold with pavé diamonds, a Serpenti Viper double-head ring in white gold with pavé diamonds or a set of Fiorever pendant earrings in white gold with round, brilliant-cut diamonds – can seem like it was crafted just for you. Our experiential tastes season our lives, and make the distinguished five – salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami – even more personal than we know.
LEFT: B.ZERO1 ROCK EARRINGS IN ROSE GOLD WITH STUDDED SPIRAL & BLACK CERAMIC INSERTS, SHOP NOW, B.ZERO1 ROCK FOUR-BAND RING IN ROSE GOLD WITH STUDDED SPIRAL & BLACK CERAMIC INSERTS, SHOP NOW, HIGH JEWELLERY PONCHO IN WHITE GOLD WITH MOTHER-OF-PEARL ELEMENTS, RUBELLITE BEADS, , “AKOYA” WHITE CULTURED PEARLS, ROUND EMERALDS, ROUND DIAMONDS, ROUND DIAMONDS & PAVÉ-SET DIAMONDS, SHOP SIMILAR, BVLGARI. RIGHT: B.ZERO1 ROCK FOUR-BAND RING IN YELLOW GOLD WITH STUDDED SPIRAL & PAVÉ DIAMONDS, SHOP NOW, B.ZERO1 ROCK BRACELET IN YELLOW GOLD WITH STUDDED SPIRAL & PAVÉ DIAMONDS, SHOP NOW, BVLGARI
For some, it’s a spoon of Beluga caviar or the piquant wash of a freshly shucked oyster that fuels a craving for incomparable saltiness. For these palates, such sea-fare is likely the precursor to a meal levelled by Pecorino and doused in anchovies with unabashed pesce passion. They’re spurred by saline, moreish delights from Italian epicentres, ones that not only erupt an insatiable desire for bitey gastronomy, but for furiously sharp decor. For others, it’s the innocuous lust for the devilishly saccharine. Palates so sweetened they could forgo the tedium of ritual nourishment and spend a lifetime ravished by desserts. Palates who pray to Saint Honoré for his pastry miracles, preach religieuse as a religion and name all their pets Choux. They take pleasure in the pretty, the poetic and the patisseries of the 11th arrondissement.
LEFT: SERPENTI SEDUTTORI WATCH IN ROSE GOLD WITH DIAMONDS, WHITE SILVER OPALINE DIAL & BRUSHED ROSE GOLD BRACELET, BVLGARI, SHOP NOW. RIGHT: SERPENTI VIPER TWO-COIL RING IN WHITE GOLD WITH PAVÉ DIAMONDS, SHOP NOW, HIGH JEWELLERY BRACELET-RING IN WHITE GOLD WITH MOTHER-OF-PEARL ELEMENTS, ROUND DIAMONDS & PAVÉ-SET DIAMONDS, SHOP SIMILAR, BVLGARI
Then, there are those with an appetite for the hardest of spice. They relish in the rawness of original form, attentive to the minutiae of deep-seated bitterness. Coffee is black and chocolate is pure. They’re tuned to the unsweetened nature of organic edibles, welcoming the challenge of even the most pious alkali. They saunter the troves of Istanbul’s Istiklal Caddesi, tasting the rogue and the rare, reckoning their palates with strength and gusto. For others, however, the delight of a lime-squeezed hors d’oeuvre or an orange-spiked bouillabaisse during an evening on the coast is as intoxicating as the Limoncello aperitif. They exclusively subscribe to the sour tang of a concentrated cocktail, one that ignites their atmosphere almost as graphically as the surrounding sunset. These tastemakers crave an acidic assault, one that waters the eyes but pleases the soul.
LEFT: B.ZERO1 ROCK BRACELET IN YELLOW GOLD WITH STUDDED SPIRAL & PAVÉ DIAMONDS, SHOP NOW, B.ZERO1 ROCK FOUR-BAND RING IN YELLOW GOLD WITH STUDDED SPIRAL & PAVÉ DIAMONDS, SHOP NOW, BVLGARI. RIGHT: SERPENTI VIPER ONE-COIL SLIM BRACELET IN WHITE GOLD WITH FULL PAVÉ DIAMONDS, BVLGARI, SHOP NOW
Finally, there are those committed to umami. A term borrowed from the Japanese that means “essence of deliciousness”, this modern quencher is said to radiate a back-of-the-tongue, salty satisfaction. Its specific foundations are roused from monosodium glutamate, a far-too-banal term for what has been described to be the indescribable. Umami palates taste its peculiar particulars with fervent passion. They’re never far from pungent condiments, soys and cheeses, rich sauces and cured proteins and nirvana is a degustation in Osaka.
Our brain sparks this most auspicious correlation. We can’t help but entwine our most desired experiences with our most appetising foods. After all, we give beautiful objects names like delicious or delectable. We coin cuteness as edible and sweet. We have fused these two tangents until they’ve become allies of an unstoppable nature. A partnership ensuring we’re ever committed to satiating the sense – both inside and out. And while we never stop acquiring our tastes, we learn to blend the preferred with the strange, peaking with moments of sensorial enlightenment. We begin to realise our potential to adore and enjoy is one of the greatest treats of human existence. To reward ourselves with the luxury of beauty, or the luxury of the delicious might just be a sense all of its own. And we still want the sprinkles.
Photography: Paul Morel
Art: Kimberlee Kessler
Fashion Direction: Anna Castan
Hair: Nicholas James
Makeup: Chiara Giuzetti
Manicurist: Simone Marino
Model: Shahed Elnakhlawy / W360 Management